Program: Men in Quilting

This month we have a very special theme: Men in Quilting! We have two fabulous male quilters who will be visiting us and telling their stories.

One of our speakers is Matthew Wheeler of “The Quilted Bear” in Ladner. Matt has been interested in sewing as far back as he can remember, learning to quilt from his mother and completing his first quilt in 1995. Not long after the quilting bug bit him, he started working as a travel nurse and found it difficult to quilt with little spare time and no dedicated quilting space. Shortly after moving to BC in 2001, Matt started making a few home decorating projects but quickly returned to quilting. Matt taught himself many sewing and crafting techniques from books, videos, internet and TV, mainly because he didn’t know where to find the opportunity to attend a class. After hearing about a local store that offered classes, Matt took his first “official” quilt lesson at The Quilted Bear in 2009. He bought fabric every chance he got and felt the need to own every notion, gadget, or pattern he saw, even though he may never use it (sound familiar?).

When the opportunity came up in early 2011, Matt purchased “The Quilted Bear” in Ladner to be surrounded by quilting – from quilters to fabric and everything in between. Matt enjoy seeing the unique and wonderful creations of quilters, and the shop continues to hold popular quilting retreats three times per year.

Matt is also a member of the Boundary Bay Quilt Guild and the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. Bring your $$ – Matt may be bringing some of his wares and set up a table.

Our other guest this month is Paul Krampitz. Paul is one of those incredibly dedicated, industrious quilters who puts as much effort into his back as his quilt fronts. When folks get one of his quilts as a gift they are really getting two for one. Yet instead of halving his production, he still manages to be prolific. And when he’s not sewing, he’s either surfing quilting sites looking for new ideas and different techniques to try out, or posting on-line tutorials to his blog, Paul’s Block Party at If you want a good giggle, check out his “Big Packages” Christmas tree skirt. It’s hysterical.

In the mid 1990’s Paul quit his bank job and sold his condo to finance a trip encompassing the length and breadth of Africa. Visiting tailors in every community he spent any time in, he asked for snippets of fabric as a souvenir. The memory quilts he’s made from these remnants are among the quilts that he’ll be showing. Here’s what Paul has to say about his work: “I’ve been quilting for over 25 years, starting out really traditional. Now I’m really into modern quilting. What got me quilting are two 70 year old quilts I have from my West Virginia Gramma. One is made from my Mom and Aunt’s dresses. These quilts inspired me to do it too. When I found out about rotary cutters, rulers and cutting mats, I knew this was for me! My focus now is on improvisational piecing using whites, solids, modern fabrics and making wonky versions of traditional blocks. I am inspired by all the pictures of quilts that are now available on-line in people’s blogs and flickr group.”

In keeping with our theme – why don’t you bring a little something you have made for a man in your life to show. Or better yet – something a man in your life may have made for you.